You are four ingredients away from heaven! When it comes to a perfectly luscious and light dessert, it doesn’t get much simpler than this deeply flavored easy chocolate mousse recipe. It takes fifteen minutes to whip up and you can make it a few days ahead. You can even replace the powdered sugar with your favorite sugar substitute and the heavy cream with dairy-free heavy whipping cream. What’s not to love?!
What Is Chocolate Mousse?
Chocolate mousse is a dessert with intensely deep notes of rich chocolate and a creamy, airy texture that melts as soon as it hits your palate. It’s the perfect dessert after a heavy meal. And because you can make it ahead of time, it’s one less thing to think about come dinner time.
What You’ll Need
- Chocolate is the most important ingredient, so steer clear of low-quality chocolate. Semi-sweet or dark baking chocolate is a great choice. Milk chocolate can make the mousse very sweet, so cut it with semi or dark chocolate to balance the sugar.
- Heavy Whipping Cream is necessary to create a mousse’s light texture and silky mouthfeel. Low-fat creams will not work for this recipe. You can also use a non-dairy heavy whipping cream.
- Egg Whites should be from fresh room temperature eggs, as they whip easier. Be careful when separating, as any yolk in the white will make it next to impossible to whip. If you are using older eggs, add a pinch of cream of tartar to help stabilize the whites.
- Powdered Sugar adds sweetness and helps stabilize the whipped egg whites. Granulated sugar won’t dissolve easily in egg whites and leaves you with a grainy texture. If you only have granulated sugar, process it in a blender until powdery.
What Are Soft And Stiff Peaks?
You make chocolate mousse by whipping heavy cream to soft peaks and whipping egg whites with sugar in it to stiff peaks. A soft peak means that when you take the beater out of the egg whites or cream, a peak will form, but the tip of the peak will curl like an upside-down letter j. A stiff peak means when you take a beater out of the egg whites or cream, it will leave a stiff peak that stands straight up and does not curl over, like the letter i.
Tips For Making Chocolate Mousse
- Use clean, dry bowls to melt chocolate and whip the egg whites in. Any grease or moisture in the bowls will ruin your results.
- Don’t whip the cream or the whites at high speed, which creates larger bubbles. Large bubbles aren’t as stable as smaller ones. Use medium speed.
- Make sure the chocolate is still warm when folding in the egg whites and cream. Adding cold cream or egg whites to cooled chocolate hardens the chocolate, creating a grainy texture.
- Do not stir in the whipped cream and whites. Fold them into the chocolate in thirds to keep the mixture airy. Stirring breaks up air bubbles, flattening your batter.
- To fold, use a spatula to cut from the top of the batter to the bottom. Then scoop the bottom ingredients onto the spatula and fold them gently over the top. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until there are no white streaks.
How To Store Chocolate Mousse
The mousse will only keep at room temperature for a few hours, so take it out of the fridge when you are ready to serve. You can make chocolate mousse a few days ahead. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, as long as it isn’t exposed to air. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mousse before storing it.
You can also freeze mousse for up to two months, in an air-tight container, with a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface of the mousse. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
Chocolate Mousse with no Eggs
You can make this mousse without the egg whites, but it won’t be as stable and airy. To substitute the egg whites, whip 1/2 cup more heavy cream and add the sugar to that mixture.
- 8 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate*, chopped ($2.90)
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream, very cold ($3.29)
- 3 egg whites, room temperature ($1.25)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar or sugar substitute ($0.13)
- Fill a pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Take it off the heat. Place the chocolate in a bowl and place the bowl in the hot water, being careful not to get any water in the bowl. Leave the bowl there until the chocolate melts.
- Add the heavy cream to a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whip the egg whites on medium speed to soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate in thirds. Fold until no white streaks remain.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate in thirds. There should be no white streaks.
- Scoop mousse into serving dishes, cover, and refrigerate for an hour. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream, raspberries, mint, or shaved chocolate.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Chocolate Mousse – Step by Step Photos
Bring a pot of water to a boil and take it off the heat. Add the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate to a clean, dry bowl and place it in the pan. Leave the bowl in the water for a few minutes, then stir the chocolate until smooth and silky.
Beat the pint of heavy cream on medium speed until it forms soft peaks. When you take the beater out of the bowl, the tips of the whipped cream will look like an upside-down J.
Whip the 3 egg whites on medium speed to soft peaks. Add the 1/2 cup of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks will stand straight up and remain that way when you remove the beater from the bowl.
Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate in thirds until no white streaks remain. Do not stir.
When the whites are thoroughly mixed in, fold in the whipped cream in thirds. There should be no white streaks. Leave the mousse in the bowl or scoop it into serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream, raspberries, mint, or shaved chocolate. Enjoy the oohs and aahs you’ll get when you put this beauty on the table!
So delicious! For a half recipe, I used 3 Tbsp. commercial, pasteurized liquid egg whites that whipped into reasonably stiff peaks with XXXX sugar added.
Thank you so much for sharing this tip! I’m so glad it worked out well with the swap. ~ Marion :)
I would want to use pasteurized egg white, so I’d probably go with an actual carton of egg whites rather than separating the eggs myself. What would be the approximate measurement for “three eggs” if using whites from a carton?
Also, my hand mixer is on the fritz. Can this be mixed by hand in a reasonable amount of time?
Hand-whipping cream takes a lot of elbow grease (or more like, wrist strength) but is absolutely possible to do in a reasonable amount of time! Using pasteurized egg whites is a great idea (we just don’t recommend them because they aren’t as budget-friendly). For a conversion: Egg whites weigh approx. 1 oz. each or about 2 Tablespoons. So you will need 3 oz./6 tablespoons of pasteurized egg whites for this recipe. ~ Marion :)
Monti, I really miss the ingredient amounts in the step by step instructions. If you don’t include them there, then you might as well put the pictures with the initial instructions. This recipe as written is quite hard to follow, especially if you’ve relied on the Step by Step. You have especially clever techniques which tend to be overlooked with all the scrolling a person has to do to pull it together.
Food safety with egg whites?
I’ve enjoyed this blog for years and this is the first time I’ve commented, but you beat me to it. Egg whites in the USA are sadly not safe to use in this way.
Pasteurized egg whites from a carton or pasteurized eggs work in my experience, if there’s health worries.
I made this tonight with carton pasteurized egg whites and could *not* get to stiff peaks. I’m sure I did something wrong, but it didn’t work out for me. (this is my first attempt at making homemade chocolate mousse) Also, my chocolate seized so I think I let it cool for too long (it took forever with the egg whites before I gave up on them).
That’s a good point! We didn’t test this recipe with pasteurized egg whites. While I assumed they would work as a substitute, I am not absolutely certain it will be equally successful. (We don’t mind using egg whites and trust they are safe to eat when stored properly!) ~ Marion :)
You can make this recipe with or without egg whites. We believe they are perfectly safe to eat but understand some people will still have reservations! Monti discusses what changes to make in the section labeled “Chocolate Mousse with no Eggs.” ~ Marion :)
This looks so great!
Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations on how I could add some earl grey tea or infuse some earl grey tea into this mousse for a tasty chocolatey earl grey combo? :)
I would suggest steeping the tea in the heavy cream (warm on the stove for 10 minutes or so, but don’t let it boil), and then strain the tea leaves out of the cream & chill the cream completely again before trying to whip it! It’ll be great!
~ Marion :)